Making Solid Decisions With Your Life and Your Money
Wednesday July 30th 2014
Money Matters: Tips from the Federal Trade Commission

Top reasons why we don’t save!

 

Photo Courtesy of Alan Cleaver

We all have excuses on why we don’t save enough. We have children, we want to go on a vacation, we just don’t have the time, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on and on till the break of dawn. Right? Well, the list goes on if we let it, but there are ways to sneak in savings.

Jonathan Stein, CEO of the investment site Betterment says, people regularly overspend and don’t save enough money to achieve the goals they have planned for the future. Whether their goal is to afford retirement, college tuition, or big-ticket purchases, saving with an eye towards future financial needs is key. In other words, “I live paycheck to paycheck. I save for short term things.”

“I have a savings account, isn’t that enough?”

Stein says, “People don’t take enough investment risk with their savings to achieve their goals. Instead of investing in stocks and bonds, they park their money in a savings account, which has its own risk: not keeping up with inflation.” He says that under-investing is what happens when people fail to see the huge opportunity cost of parking money in savings.

Sometimes we’re just too darn busy!

This one’s a biggie. When we fail to maintain our accounts, we lose. “People tend to slack off after they’ve set up their accounts, says Stein, “That’s like joining a gym and then never going to work out – you get little benefit.”  It’s important to stick to rebalancing, contribution and diversification routines, or, if you’re subject to slacking, like most of us, chose a service that does these important things automatically for you he says.

Ways to overcome bad habits

How much can you contribute?

Stein advises savers to decide how much money they need to contribute regularly to meet their goals. “Work backwards from where you want to end up and understand that you’ll need to be patient with yourself and the markets.”

Maximize risk

Another strategy he suggests is to maximize the risk we’re taking with our savings, given of course our limits for risk tolerance because as he puts it, what may seem like playing it safe could actually be ruining our chances of ever hitting our financial goals.

Reader Feedback

4 Responses to “Top reasons why we don’t save!”

  1. Ana says:

    Hi Nicole,

    I like your strategy of just taking action without overthinking it. If it gives you the results you want, then that is all that matters!

  2. Ana says:

    Best of luck overseas Lisa. It is difficult to save when your income is not fixed. I think one tip that helps is everytime you do get paid make sure you take out 10 to 15 percent from your check even before you pay bills or other expenses. The amount you deduct should go right into your savings without a second thought.

    Thank you for checking out Blogathon 2011!

  3. Thanks for listing these tips on saving. I used to save and then stopped because I felt like I could not afford to save and this year, I decided to not make resolutions and instead just take action without much hoping and dreaming and over-planning. This decision has helped me to start saving again and while I don’t do that automatic stuff that some of the financial experts recommend, I do put efforts toward saving a percentage of every payment that I earn no matter how small, even if it is only a few dollars or a few cents. When I checked my progress last month, I was surprised to find that it really does add up.

    I guess there really is something to that old saying of “a penny saved is a penny earned”.

  4. Lisa Carter says:

    Some really great advice in your posts, Ana! Like so many, I’m one of those non-savers… :-( Being self-employed can make it hard because there is no fixed income every two weeks; each month can be wildly different. Still, the notion of deciding how much money is needed and working back from there is a great way to start. We’re hoping to move overseas for six months so I’ll do some figuring, work my way back and hopefully save up for that goal.
    Can’t believe you’re doing three blogs for Blogathon 2011! Good on ya!
    Suerte and I’ll be back to visit…
    Lisa

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